Monday, August 23, 2010

Kale Quinoa Salad



The other night at my book group, our hostess Lisa fed us the most delightful salad made of raw kale.   She picked it up from the Wednesday Ann Arbor Farmer's Market where it is sold by Living Zen Organics, a cafe operated by Buddists in my home town of Hamtramck.   It was wonderful!  I was intrigued that raw kale could taste so good.   The other day, I was talking to a local farmer who shares a stall next to the Buddhists at the Wednesday market, and she said that they were devoted into a raw food diet.   I can't say that I have ever considered embarking on a raw food diet.  In fact, the one woman I have ever met that is a raw food devotee struck me as someone using it as a disguise for her eating disorder.  However, this salad is delicious! 

I jotted down the ingredients off the container and developed my own version of this great salad.  It enabled me to try out cooking with some new foods - quinoa and shoyu.   Quinoa is a grain that tastes literally like nothing.   It's the tofu of the grain world - I'd suggest using it where you'd like to add some fiber to a dish without affecting the flavor.   I am not sure how to describe shoyu.   Shoyu actually means "soy sauce" in Japan, but evidently there are several different kinds of shoyu that can be found there.   I bought one I found at Hillers.   I think you could get by with using regular old soy sauce and calling it a day.  Note that some kinds of kale taste more "kale-y" than others.   Go for the mildest kind you can find!

Kale Quinoa Salad
1 lg. bunch leafy green kale
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
handful of raw almonds (optional - they don't add much to the salad and tend to fall to the bottom of the bowl)

Dressing
3 T sesame oil
1 T olive oil
1 T shoyu or soy sauce
2 t. agave nectar (if you are not eating a raw diet, a teaspoon of sugar would be fine)
juice of one lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Cut the kale into bite size pieces, stir in quinoa and and almonds.   Dress liberally with dressing - this will lbe more than needed for one batch of salad.

5 comments:

Ellie B said...

Nancy and I are going to Portland Market on Wednesday, we're going to try this! Many Thanks

Tricia said...

There was a piece on NPR last month about how cooking food allowed us to evolve larger brains - take that as you will!

Does shoyu count as raw food? I guess it's mostly fermented, not actually cooked? And agave nectar is definitely not raw - lots of processing goes into that product. But hey, I didn't mean to degrade into a dissection of the ingredients. The salad sounds interesting!

Mom said...

I don't know ...we'll have to ask the raw food police about the shoyu and the agave. Check this out: http://www.rawfoodnation.org/2009/agave-nectar-so-sweet/ With regard to shoyu, it needs to be unpasteurized:
http://www.rawguru.com/store/raw-food/nama-shoyu-raw-organic-10-oz.html

Anonymous said...

Cool! I'm into the local Zen community (though not the Hamtramck one) but am a kale freak and have eaten at the Detroit Zen Center - that is one tasty salad. I wonder if it has tahini in it in addition to sesame oil, as it has that wonderful rich, nutty taste.

The other food tip I picked up from the Hamtramck Zen group was to put julienned mango in my veggie sushi rolls - it adds a nice texture and flavor along with the usual suspects of cucumber, red pepper, carrot etc.

Nevermore said...

Oh my goodness! Thank you! This is my favorite kale salad. I can't wait to try this!